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The Dutch former Colonies

Amsterdam Island 1633-1792

This island was discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano on March 18, 1522, along his first world circumnavigation. Elcano did not name the island, however.

Having found the island unnamed, the Dutch captain Anthonie van Diemen named it Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch for New Amsterdam) after his ship in 1633. Map of Île Amsterdam.

French Captain François Péron, was marooned three years on this island. Péron had been on the French ship Emélie, which wrecked on New Amsterdam in 1792. He was rescued and taken to Australia in 1795. Peron's Memoires, in which he describes his survival alone on New Amsterdam, were published in a limited edition and are now an expensive collectors' item.

The islands of Île Amsterdam and Île Saint-Paul were attached to Madagascar in 1924 and hence became a French colony.


Amsterdam Island